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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-04-02

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Opinion poll: ND, SYRIZA neck and neck, Samaras more suitable for PM
  • [02] Tsipras: Investors will never come to a collapsing economy
  • [03] FinMin briefs PASOK, DIMAR on resumption of talks with troika
  • [04] BoG chief: Deposits in Greece secure

  • [01] Opinion poll: ND, SYRIZA neck and neck, Samaras more suitable for PM

    AMNA--New Democracy (ND) and main opposition SYRIZA were tied in first place in voters' preference, according to an opinion poll conducted by GPO for the private MEGA television station.

    According to the poll results, ND and SYRIZA were tied at 20.3 percent each in the respondents' preference, followed by ultra-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) with 9 percent, PASOK with 7.5 percent, Independent Greeks with 6.3 percent, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 5.8 percent and Democratic Left (DIMAR) with 5 percent, while 4.1 percent of the respondents expressed support for other parties, 6.1 percent said they would cast a blank vote and 15.6 percent declined response. amna

    To a question of who would be most suitable for prime minister, current Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (and ND leader) was preferred by 46 percent of the respondents, followed by SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras with 29.3 percent, while 23.5 percent said neither of the two.

    The geographic coverage of the opinion poll was nationwide and was conducted between 28 March and 1 April 2013.

    [02] Tsipras: Investors will never come to a collapsing economy

    AMNA--Investors will never come to put their money into a collapsing economy caught in a 'death spiral' of austerity and recession, main opposition SYRIZA-EKM leader Alexis Tsipras stressed on Monday as he addressed 'rented' staff at the company Ethnodata, employed via other firms (ICAP, MELLON), and workers in the local Ethniki union.

    Tsipras underlined that a condition for saving the country - and therefore attracting investments - was a stable labour regime, a stable and fair tax regime and the opportunity for recovery that could only come about by increasing the minimum legal wage, so that those who spent all they earned could carry out the consumer spending that might drive the economy.amna

    Commenting on the arrival later this week of officials representing Greece's troika of lenders - the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund - the main opposition leader said this carried the risk of launching a new round of 'blackmail' against Greece due to the 'financing gap' for Greece's banking sector and the public deficit of 2.7 billion euros caused by the austerity measures.

    Gov't reply

    Commenting on Tsipras' speech, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglour responded by stating that the "government is steadily guiding the country away from the dangerous rocks of SYRIZA's populism" and accused the main opposition of indulging his "weakness for being alarmist".amna

    "He has been doing this continually since last summer and is invariably proved wrong. That will be the case this time as well," Kedikoglou added.

    [03] FinMin briefs PASOK, DIMAR on resumption of talks with troika

    AMNA--Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras met with representatives of PASOK, Filipos Sachinidis and Democratic Left (DIMAR) party, Dimitris Chatzisokratis on Monday evening, in view of the resumption of negotiations with Greece's troika of international lenders – EC, ECB, IMF – due to arrive in Athens on Wednesday.

    According to reports, Stournaras briefed the two officials on all issues that still remain pending in talks between the government and the troika, over the reimbursement of the next tranche of the country's rescue loan.amna

    A central point in the meeting was the special property tax (EETIDE), collected through electricity bills, which the troika wants to apply also for 2013.

    [04] BoG chief: Deposits in Greece secure

    AMNA--Bank deposits in Greece are secure, central Bank of Greece (BoG) governor George Provopoulos assured early Tuesday, speaking on a late night programme on state NET television.

    "In no instance will the solution (of a haircut of deposits) that was selected for Cyprus be implemented in Greece," he said, adding that even in the event of shortfalls in the Greek programme, these would be made up for by a reduction in expenditures and rationalization of the public sector, and not with a haircut of deposits.

    He explained that the Greek banks have already absorbed the 50 billion euros foreseen in the Memorandum for their recapitalization, and consequently their capital base has been substantially boosted. Their position was further boosted by the repatriation of deposits from abroad.amna

    Indeed, he said, more than 19 billion euros in deposits had returned to Greece between June 2012 and mid-March.

    On the timetable for the banks' recapitalization, Provopoulos said that the deadline set by the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Troika of Greece's lenders for completion of the recapitalization process by end-April was "not realistic", and anticipated that the systemic banks will have completed the relevant procedures by end-May, adding that Greece could extend the deadline by a month.amna

    He confirmed that the Troika has expressed reservations over the planned merger of National Bank of Greece (NBG) and Eurobank, but predicted that the merger would take place and that the relevant process will not be reversed. Provopoulos said that the word 'veto' does not describe the Troika's stance on this specific merger, explaining that whatever reservations arise from the large size the new bank (after the merger) would have, as well from the large share (approximately 40 percent) of the Greek market the new bank would have.amna

    As for the repercussions of the crisis in Cyprus on the Greek economy, Provopoulos anticipated that there would be a further, but minor, reduction in GDP.

    He said the recession in the Greek economy this year would approach 4.5 percent (against an initial forecast of 4.0-4.5 percent), explaining that the impact of the developments in Cyprus on the Greek GDP would be about 0.35 percent.amna

    Provopoulos once again reiterated that the structural changes and restructure of the public sector need to proceed, and opposed the imposition of additional taxes, while indirectly, but clearly, favored continuation this year of the collection of the extraordinary surtax on real estate (EETHDE) via PPC electricity bills.

    The central bank chief further stressed that the danger of Greece's exiting the euro has been distanced, but without this meaning that it has totally eclipsed. He also declined to predict when Greece would be able to return to the international markets.

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